Although soldiers and sailors already get room and board along with a paycheck, they can take even more steps to secure their financial and career future while enlisted. How can a serviceman or woman financially capitalize on their time in the military?
In the military, you’re exposed to thousands of fellow recruits during training. You develop close ties with squadmates and division members. These affiliates can provide opportunities for any career objective. The Manhattan Community College Center for Career Development notes that anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of all hires occur when a job seeker connects with friends, family members and other specialized contacts about new opportunities. Communicate your interests with other enlistees and stay connected, such as through the social media site LinkedIn. Take the initiative to contact former squadmates or even superior officers about your plans and goals.
Use Your Training
The military teaches its enlistees exceptional skills beyond how to fire a weapon and drive a tank. Hone sharp business-related skills like efficient communication and discipline that are highly valuable for a job. Also, your ability to handle firearms can come in handy for particular careers, such as law enforcement, security and even hunting. While enlisted, take the initiative to expand upon your firearm skills and background. Enroll in a hunter safety course online to get licensed or study for the National Police Officer Selection Test (POST).
Join Commissioned Service
If you joined the military as an enlisted soldier, sailor or airman, you have the skills and qualifications to follow a career path as a commissioned officer. As a commissioned officer, you can prolong your military career, usually a minimum of four years. Keep in mind the hiring opportunities for former officers are significantly greater than that of their enlisted charges. Many management and leadership positions have “officer only” roadblocks. As an officer, you enjoy more autonomy and greater pay.
Connect With a Counselor
Recruits meet with a military job counselor during training to determine their enlisted role, from peeling potatoes to overseeing drone strikes. Talking with a private job counselor or career coach can also open up more doors. Think of your job counselor as a career coach, and while meeting, make sure you determine your goals, what you want from a career and where you need to improve. By meeting with a career professional while enlisted, you can hit the ground running upon discharge and become a more attractive candidate.